When The Peaceful Dragon opened in 1997, few choices existed in Charlotte for people who wanted to cultivate their mental and spiritual capacities while exercising their bodies. Fitness options mostly included health clubs, gyms, YMCAs and pools. We were among the first full-service facilities to do more than pay lip service to the notion of developing the complete mind, body and spirit with our focus on traditional and authentic classes in tai chi, Shaolin kung fu, Zen (Ch’an) meditation and Chinese yoga.
But now Charlotte is overflowing with yoga studios, tai chi classes are offered at many health clubs and YMCAs, and Zen meditation is even being encouraged by cardiologists and primary care physicians for their mainstream patients.
This growth is good for the people in our community, and good for The Peaceful Dragon. While it is true that the credentials of many of the newer instructors are perhaps too light, and the quality of service of several new centers is somewhat suspect, never the less more people are becoming aware of the benefits of these art forms for excellent physical fitness along with real personal growth, both mentally and spiritually.
Eventually people make their own conclusions about quality and authenticity, but first they must get started somewhere. I am happy to see so many opportunities for people in Charlotte to get started on the road to total mind, body and spirit fitness.